History tour at Helsinki Athletic Club (est 1891)

Helsinki AC was established 1891 by Emil Karlson and friend. First they did old-school weightlifting, pyramids and German-style stand up wrestling. After Ladislaus Pytlasinksi inroducted French ( Greco) wrestling to Finland 1896 the club focused on this wrestling style with great success. They also continuet weight-lifting and in 20s added boxing.

Here are some of the most important wrestler of the club:

Carl Allen: Finnish Greco Champ 1899 and coach for the next generation

Verner Weckman: World Champ 1905, Olympic Champ 1906 & 1908

Armas Laitinen: Finnish Greco Champ 1913. Wrestled pro in US around 1919 against Joe Stecher, John Pesek, Ed Lewis, ect. Coached Finnish Olympic team in the 20s.

Ivar Böling: Finnish Greco Champ 1913. Wresteld over 10 hour match in 1912 Olympics.

The Westerlund brothers: Won multiple national, world and Olympic medals.

Gunner Bärlund was a top contender of the world-title in pro-boxing around 30s – during the time of Joe Louis.

Long live HAK!!



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